Chavs and Moshers
In the early 2000s, the most common British subcultures were skate punks and chavs who were often rivals. Chavs favored hip-hop fashions like burberry caps, white trainers, and cheap sportswear. Common haircuts included the fauxhawk (small mohawk fin like David Beckham), spiky hair or a Croydon facelift for girls.
The skaters (nicknamed grebos and moshers) had long hair or dreadlocks and wore baggy pants (to avoid rips during skateboarding). They wore grunge inspired padded flannel shirts, fingerless gloves, army surplus patrol caps and camouflage cargo trousers in dark colours.
In 2005 Indie-pop fashions went mainstream in Europe and North America, prompting a revival of 1960s Mod and fashions, charity shop clothing and the popularization of activist fashions like the keffiyeh (the woven headdress worn by Arabs). Other subcultures, imitated indie fashions or combined them with elements of Japanese street style, like the Lolita and Harajuku girls popularized by Gwen Stefani.
By 2008, the most conspicuous subculture was the "scene kids." They originated in Britain during the late-1990s when some members of the chav subculture began to experiment with elements of indie pop, emo and rave music. It spread to America and Australia in the mid-2000s. The style originally comprised of bondage trousers with zippers, straps, chains, stripes, Chucks, Vans and truckers hats that were derived from grunge and skate punk fashion. It later evolved to incorporate androgynous, matted, flat and straight hair sometimes dyed bright colors, cartoon print hoodies, tight jeans, checked shirts, shutter shades, promise rings and lots of bright colors. The name was originally derived from "scene queen", a derogatory term within the 1970s glam rock scene for a heterosexual musician who pretended to be gay. Later, "scene queen" itself was adopted by leading female members of the modern subculture, like supermodel Audrey Kitching, who were unaware of its original meaning.
Cloward and Ohlin (1961) claim there are three types of deviant subcultures – criminal, conflict and retreatist. Criminal subcultures tend to emerge in areas where there is an established pattern of adult crime and a ‘learning environment’ for the young. They are mainly seeking financial reward. Conflict subcultures tend to develop in areas where there is little opportunity to achieve in education or through hard work. Organised crime is less evident due to a high turnover of the population which prevents a stable criminal subculture. Conflict subcultures often engage in gang violence to release anger and frustration. These gangs offer status and prestige if members show loyalty to the gang.
Retreatist subcultures are mainly formed around drug use. They too have failed in the legitimate ways of achieving wealth through education and hard work, but have also failed to achieve wealth through crime. As failed gang members or failed criminals, these young people retreat from the goals of society.
Sociologists have recently begun to research a sixth type of culture that has emerged since the introduction of the internet – cyberculture. In online communities many people are living out their life in another time and place using an avatar. Sometimes these lives allow people to express parts of the personality that are not possible in their real life.
Extract from The Big Bang Theory Series 4 Episode 04 – The Hot Troll Deviation
Howard: Okay, fine. I’ll admit, there are dark, sordid little corners of the Internet where the name Wolowizard is whispered in hushed tones. But the only reason I go there, the only reason I’ve ever gone there is because I don’t have a real woman in my life. You happy?
Bernadette: Howard, you did have a real woman. I was right there in the next room while you were clicking that troll’s brains out.
Howard: Yeah, but we weren’t, I-I mean, you and I never…
Bernadette: Had sex?
Bernadette: Well, whose fault was that?
Penny: Complimentary nachos! You enjoy. Never had sex? Wow.
Howard: What do you mean, whose fault was that?
Bernadette: Well, we could’ve been having sex, but you never made the move.
Howard: I didn’t think you wanted me to make the move.
Bernadette: Howard, a girl doesn’t go out with a man like you, with your looks, your fancy patter and your tight hoochie pants if she’s not expecting him to eventually make the move.
Howard: Son of a bitch.
Scene: University corridor.
Howard: Yeah, we had a really great talk, and we’re gonna start seeing each other again.
Leonard: Oh, congratulations. Have you broken it to the troll yet?
Howard: Did Penny tell you about that?
Leonard: No. Steve Patterson told me.
Howard: The greasy old fat guy in Facilities Management?
Howard: How’d he know about it?
Leonard: He’s Glissinda the troll.
Some sociologists argue that the inequalities present in society are also present in cyberspace. For example males dominate this space and there is a social class divide between those who can afford access to computers and broadband and those who cannot. Commercial pressures also exist as pop up advertising that finances so called ‘free’ forums, and governments can find ways to censor the internet as we have seen Chinese deals with Microsoft and Google.